Anything Under the Sun
Monday, February 18, 2008
Love Dogs NOT Dog Meat!
I have heard that it's a dog eat dog world, but I was shocked to read that dog meat was still eaten in many places including China.
In the west, a dog may be a man's best friend. However, in China as well as Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, a dog is often a men's best dish!
Canine meat cooked with lots of garlic and herb is considered as a delicacy and is eaten during the winter months.
Dog eating is still prevalent in many places in China. In Beijing, for example, you will find restaurants specializing in dog meat. Did you know that there are even some university canteens in China that offer dog meat in their menu?
Dogs have alway played an important role in the lives of the Chinese since ancient times. For the ancient kings and aristocrats, dogs were plaything whereas for the peasants they were food.
Fortunately, today the number of dog eaters are increasingly being outnumbered by dog owners. According to market estimates, about 200 million Chinese are dog owners. (Mind blogging huh, that's fifty times Singapore's population!) This has resulted in a huge and fast-growing industry that has arisen to service the needs of these dog owners and their dogs.
Dogs have become friends of the old who are childless or stay apart from their children. While others have become playmates for the Chinese children, where most of whom have no sibling due to the nations One-Child policy.
However, due to the lack of education regarding responsible pet ownership, which has resulted in increasing amount of stray dogs and a lack of proper vaccination thus leading to a potential risk of the spread of rabies.
As China is preparing for the upcoming 2008 Olympics, to reduce the rate of the spread of rabies, Beijing Municipal Government had arranged for a dog call in November 2006.
Fortunately, petitions by dog owners and animal lovers combined with pressure from animal protection groups, both local and international, eventually led to the ending of the cull.
The life of a dog in China is still at risk either at the whim of "food lovers", the old and the very young as well as government official who can decide "to cull or not to cull". O Boy, It's a dog's life!